What is a Statement of Purpose (SOP)?
A Statement of Purpose (SOP), also known as a research statement or a letter of intent, is written to the admission panel and talks about your career path, interests, professional contributions, goals and the driving force behind pursuing a particular program. This is usually submitted in the form of an essay; however, certain universities may also keep it question-based. It is the most integral part of your application that decides your admission in your preferred institution.
One of the most important aspects of your application because it tells the admission committee who you are, why you’re applying, why you’re a good candidate, and what you want to do in the future, your professional goals, what will you do when becoming alumni or Ph.D., apart from your GPA, test scores and other numbers.
The statement of purpose (statement of interest) reflects not only who you are as a candidate but your writing abilities and qualifications as well. In college and graduate school, you’re going to be doing a ton of writing.
Therefore, don’t neglect the importance of this essay. It’s sometimes called an SOP letter, application essay, personal background, objectives for graduate study, cover letter, or something similar to one of these. The thing is that this diversity of titles implies SOP anyway. Keep in mind that even top-rated universities, like MIT, Stanford, or Berkley take essays as a deciding factor.